La Marseillaise to be played before Premier League games

The Premier League has confirmed the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, will be played ahead of all English top-flight fixtures this weekend in tribute to the 129 people killed during the Paris terror attacks.

The “act of remembrance and solidarity” follows England fans joining their French counterparts in a stirring rendition of the anthem before Tuesday’s friendly international at Wembley.

A choral version of La Marseillaise will be played after the pre-kick-off coin toss for every match, at which point players from both teams involved will join match officials in the centre circle facing the ground’s main stand.

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said: “Given how close we are, as well as the long-standing relationship that exists between the Premier League and France, playing La Marseillaise as an act of solidarity and remembrance is the right thing to do.

“We were all saddened and deeply shocked by the events in Paris last Friday, and the fact it was an attack on people enjoying their everyday freedoms like going to a bar, a concert or a football match resonates with football fans and the general public throughout the UK.”
According to the Premier League, there are 72 French players in the division at present – making France the second-most represented nation after England – and clubs are expected to plan their own individual tributes.

Reigning champions Chelsea will publish the Tricolore on the cover of their matchday programme, which will feature a message from their France international defender Kurt Zouma, while players will wear black armbands incorporating the French flag.